May 1986

Prognosis of Herpes Zoster in Healthy Children

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Schneider Children's Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY; and the Health Sciences Center, State University at Stony Brook (NY).

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(5):477-478. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140190087033

• Previous investigators have suggested that herpes zoster may be the presenting sign of a malignancy. However, no data have been available concerning the prognosis of herpes zoster in normal children. To assess outcome and prognosis for healthy children with a diagnosis of herpes zoster, we collected and reviewed 22 cases of herpes zoster from 90 pediatric practices in our community. In all cases, the illness was of short duration and resolved completely. Patients were followed up by their pediatricians for a mean of 4.2 years, and in no case did malignancy manifest subsequent to the zoster infection. We conclude that herpes zoster is a relatively benign infection in children and, given the period of follow-up, the onset of zoster does not appear to herald the occurrence of malignancy in this population.

(AJDC 1986;140:477-478)